My first job in high school was at McDonalds. (Don’t worry, that fast-food chain is nowhere near being on this list). Consequently, I ate burgers rather often. Whenever I did, I would have Japanese people tell me, “hamburger niau ne!” (translated, “that hamburger goes well with you!”) They seemed to have this stereotype that American people are always eating some type of burger. I can’t say that they’re wrong in thinking that.
Gradually, however, the Japanese people have slowly begun to realize just why that is; it’s because burgers are so frikkin’ delicious! One of the glorious results of Japan’s continuing Westernization (and the realization that burgers are awesome) is the increase in good hamburger shops. The burger scene (at least the really good burgers) in Japan is relatively new, and, as is the case with many new things in Japan, Osaka is leading the charge. Within the last few years, the number of places where you can find a decent burger in Osaka has greatly increased. Now, you can finally find a sandwich that will remind you of home. This list of 7 places where you can find a decent burger in Osaka will help to get you started. (Please note that the order in which these shops are introduced is not in order of their quality or popularity.)
Number one on the hamburger list is a cafe/ bakery in Minami Horie, near Yotsubashi Station. West Wood Bakers is one of three shops in the Shinsaibashi area run by a father and his two sons. (The other two shops are Critters Burger, the next shop on our list, and THE PIE SHOP).
The large glass wall of the storefront allows plenty of sunlight for those inside and allows those passing by to get a glimpse of the delicious loaves of bread, doughnuts, and muffins on display. The eat-in space is rather small, and therefore there is usually a line in the afternoon. If and when you do get a seat, this shops is relaxing and has a nice vibe to it. The hamburgers are definitely Japanese size. If you want to eat a hearty lunch, one might not be enough. But that's all the more reason to try two or more flavors of these scrumptious burgers. Smoked bacon, avocado, tomato, and melted mozzarella cheese accompany a juicy beef patty on crispy baked buns. My personal recommendation is a glass of their homemade ginger ale to wash your meal down.
There is also a good selection of pancakes and sandwiches, and an affordable morning set available from 9 to 11:30 AM. If you like bread and hamburgers, West Wood Bakers is the place to be. Just make sure you arrive a little before lunchtime to get a seat before everyone else seeking a good burger in Osaka shows up.
As mentioned above, Critters Burger is the sister store of West Wood Bakers. It is a hamburger specialty with a menu of over 30 types of burgers to choose from. The most popular burgers here include the Avocado and Hamburger, the Jalapeño Cheeseburger, and the Gorgonzola Cheeseburger. The patties are made with 100% beef, and the buns are made specially to match the burgers. These burgers are also a Japanese portion. If you’re really hungry, or just love burgers a lot, don’t hesitate to order more than one.
Unfortunately, the shop is quite crowded on weekends, and you will most likely have to line up to get in. The shop also allows smoking. I recommend that you go here a little before lunchtime on weekdays, or order delivery burgers online. If your delivery address is in Osaka Nishi-ku or Chuo-ku, your order of Critters Burgers will be brought to your door, still hot and juicy. If you want to eat a decent burger in Shinsaibashi, Critters Burger should be high on your list.
This hamburger joint is located in Awaza. Don’t be fooled by the homey and relaxing shop decor; the burgers here are hardcore. There are over 20 choices of gourmet style hamburgers, each one so big you’ll have a hard time picking it up. The buns are made with Japan-grown wheat, and the patties with 100% Japanese beef. They are addictively juicy and soft. Here you can find relish topping, which is rather rare for Japan, as well as thick slabs of bacon and tomato.
If you are going to try a burger here, I recommend the pineapple cheeseburger, Awaza burger, or the bacon steak burger. Burgerlion also has a delivery service, so you can eat at home or work. (Make sure to check if your location is in their delivery range.) Burgerlion is a great place to sit down and unhinge your jaw on a juicy burger in Osaka.
If you liked Burgerlion, make sure to check our their second shop. The Butcher serves up meaty platters as brutally tasty as the name suggests. It is a steak and hamburger speciality shop near GrandKagetsu in Namba (a relatively rare combination for that area). Here you can order American sized portions of meat platters and beefy hamburgers. Sixteen types of burgers can be customized with extra toppings to satisfy your cravings for the day. Giant juicy beef patties bigger than a Burger King Whopper patty stick out in all directions from a fluffy bun. The meat is cooked medium rare (unless you ask for it cooked otherwise), and sits on top of fresh, crisp vegetables. You’ll need to squish your burger down just to fit it in your mouth.
The Butcher also recommends the Brooklyn Mashed Beef Plate, their most popular non-hamburger dish. Japan beef and Holstein beef is mashed together into a 150-gram hamburger steak, which is served with salad, french fries, pickles, and soup for only 950 yen. If you decided to go to The Butcher for lunch, you can expect to get this plate (or a massive hamburger) fresh and steaming, about 10 minutes after ordering. This shop in Osaka is a must-go for those feeling homesick for a giant meat-filled burger.
Craft Burger Co. is in the fashionable Kitahorie area of Osaka. Light green furniture and a relaxing interior design welcome you in to enjoy one of their amazing hamburgers. Here they offer eleven options of regular or small size burgers, with an occasional seasonal special. Next to each burger on the menu is the shop’s recommendation of a beer that best matches the taste of that meal.
The 100% Hokkaido beef patties are handmade with constant trial-and-error experimentation with seasoning and topping combinations to produce the best possible flavor. A free side dish of either onion rings, french fries, soup, or salad comes along with the burger. You can get a great deal on special sets. For less than 2000 yen, you can order the ladies set with two small-sized burgers, two side dishes, drinks, and dessert. There is also a 2-hour all-you-can-drink party plan, which includes three small burger, three side dishes, olives, and potato chips for 3500 yen. All-you-can-drink craft beer is also optional for an extra 1500 yen. This is a great place in Osaka to get your buddies (or girls) together for a good drink and a hamburger dinner.
This American-style cafe bar is a superb place to relax on a sofa and eat a delicious hamburger. The main shop is right near Amemura (Shinsaibashi), but there are also shops in Nakazakicho (Umeda) and Nishi-Honmachi. Rich Garden's wooden interior is decorated with green plants, making it a fancy and calm location for a girl’s night out or a date. Just make sure to eat your hamburger with a fork, and not your hands (no use making a mess in front of your date).
These giant hamburgers come in 12 different types, plus toppings for an additional price. The Bacon Cheese Burger is extremely popular, and I also recommend the double cheeseburger for all the burger-loving men out there. Juicy Angus beef patties and fresh vegetables imported every morning are packed on top of delicious hamburger buns. Aside from burgers they also sell rice dishes, hot dogs, salad, and a wide variety of side dishes and entrees. The drink menu has a wide choice range as well, including many types of beer from around the world.
There is also a “crazy burger” for all you crazy people out there: the 20cm-tall, 2500 yen “Burger Tower” is for those who can’t be satisfied by a normal burger. On the website it says this (roughly translated): “We’re sorry if you dislocate your jaw.” Rich Garden is one of my personal favorite burger joints in Osaka, and a place I would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a decent burger.
The last shop also sells giant, American-sized hamburgers. Half the Japanese reviews you will find on the net say: “The burger is so big I can’t even pick it up!” Sounds like the perfect place to find a decent burger in Osaka. Any’s Burger is in Tanimachi 6-chome, but for some reason, the shops overhead sign, a large picture of a girl holding a hamburger, is facing Tanimachi 4-chome.
The shop is decorated with lots of western-style knickknacks, giving it an American vibe. Even with two floors worth of tables and counter seats, there is a line outside on the weekends. The best time to get a burger would be a little before the lunch rush, and if you go there at night you can also order rice omlets, spare ribs, and other rice-based dishes. Take out is also available. The most popular burger at Any’s Burger is the Bacon Egg Cheeseburger, and the Bacon Egg Curry Cheeseburger. The latter is a flavor that I doubt most people could find back home, and is a great taste to try.
When your burger arrives (usually about 15 minutes after your order), you can expect it to look something like this: a bun nearly falling off of cheese and egg, followed by grilled onions, a beef patty, and two thick slices of bacon. More onions follow, and then anther beef patty, tomato, lettuce, and finally the bottom bun, which is nearly invisible under all the toppings. Here they serve Dr. Pepper, a drink that isn't always easy to find in Japan, among other soft drinks and alcoholic beverages. Any's Burger in Osaka is definitely a choice a burger lover couldn't pass up.
The next time you’re craving a hamburger (which probably won’t be too long after reading this list), don't settle for franchise fast food burgers. Instead, take the time to hunt down one of these burger shops and treat yourself to a delicious meal. Thankfully the number of places to buy good burgers in Osaka is growing, so don’t miss out!
There is also a satisfying variety of styles. Small burgers, tall burgers and even burgers that are so big you can’t even pick them up. And they’re all over Osaka, waiting for you to show up and eat them. What are you waiting for? Go and eat a decent burger in Osaka today! Now that I’ve worked up an appetite starting at pictures of gorgeous patties and buns (the bread ones) all day, I think that’s what I’ll do too.